Mobile phones are easily lost or stolen and you must lock them using one security method or another. A really easy, convenient and secure way to unlock your phone is with a fingerprint. This shows how to do it on a Samsung Galaxy S6 Android phone.

Unlocking a mobile phone by entering a PIN or password is both tedious and slow. It is merely irritating at first, but after a while it becomes a real pain in the neck and you will hate it.

Thankfully, modern top-of-the-range phones have fingerprint readers and these enable you to lock the device securely and to unlock it simply by resting a digit on the home button. The phone reads the fingerprint and if it matches yours, set up earlier, it unlocks the phone. It takes just a second to scan your finger and requires no effort on your part. It is the perfect way to lock and unlock a phone.

You may be prompted to set up your fingerprint when the phone is first used, but you do not need to do it there and then and this step can be skipped during setup. You can add your fingerprint at any time in Settings.

1 Go to Settings

Pull down from the top of the screen and tap the gear icon or go to the Apps screen and tap Settings. Press Lock screen and security in the Quick settings section. This is also listed further down the settings list too.

Samsung Galaxy S6 settings

2 Fingerprints settings

Find Fingerprints in the list of settings and press it. You can also go to Screen lock type and tap Fingerprints there too.

Samsung Galaxy S6 settings

3 Fingerprints manager

There are no fingerprints the first time you visit this part of Settings, but on subsequent visits there will be a list of the fingers you have added – you can add more than one. Not really in case you lose one, but in case one is dirty, has sticky food on it or something. Tap Add fingerprint.

Samsung Galaxy S6 fingerprints

4 Add your fingerprint

You are then asked to place your finger on the home button several times. Do not do it exactly the same each time, instead use a slightly different part of your finger so that it gets to read all parts. You can see the percentage of the fingerprint read so far and you need to get it up to 100%.

Samsung Galaxy S6 fingerprints

5 Add a password

A fingerprint should not be the only way to unlock your phone and the fingerprint scanner might not work, you might have gloves on or have dirty hands. For these reasons you must also set a password that can be used instead of the fingerprint. This would also let someone else access your phone in an emergency, like your partner, if they knew the password.

Samsung Galaxy S6 fingerprints

6 All done

Your fingerprint and backup password are now stored. This can be set as the method for unlocking the screen. You can revisit Fingerprints and add more fingers if you want.

Samsung Galaxy S6 fingerprints

You now have a really secure phone that no-one else can unlock. Well not without chopping off your finger or forcing the password out of you.